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Planetarium and Digital Dome

Iziko’s enriching and enabling education programmes include Planetarium edu-tainment for diverse school groups and audiences.

The programmes endeavour to develop the full potential of learners. They include lessons, workshops, teacher enrichment programmes and educational projects aimed at adding value to classroom practice, as well as special needs activities and educational resources.

See below for a series of Planetarium and Digital Dome events and resources!

Sky Map

The centre of the map is the overhead point, the edge is the horizon. To use the map, hold it up in front of you and rotate it to match the direction you are looking (e.g. hold it upside down when you are looking south). Do not lay it flat on a table or the points of the compass will be the wrong way round.

April Sky Map 2024

As we head towards cooler and longer nights in South Africa, Orion (hunter) sets earlier in our evening skies, a few hours after sunset. From Orion, follow the path of the Milky Way beyond Sirius, the brightest star in our night sky (in Canis Major, big dog), towards Vela (sail) directly overhead. Between Vela and Carina (keel) lies the False Cross, not to be confused with the Southern Cross further south-east. The Southern Cross also includes the Pointer Stars; Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri. The former is a triple star system, which includes Proxima Centauri: the closest star to Earth, after the Sun.

Low in the south-east, the Winter constellation Scorpius (Scorpion) returns to our early evening skies. In the south, look out for our neighbouring galaxies, the Small (SMC) and Large Magellanic Clouds (LMC). Using binoculars on the southern edge of the SMC will reveal the spectacular globular cluster 47 Tucanae, which contains about half a million stars tightly bound together by gravity. 

The moon will appear to make a close approach to Saturn and Mars just before sunrise on 6 April, with Full Moon (the ‘Diamond Moon’) on 24 April. A total solar eclipse will occur on 8 April but is only visible from North America – South Africa will need to wait till 25 November 2030 to see a total solar eclipse.  

Download the April Sky Map HERE.

 

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